How to Market Yourself Online: YourName.com
Greg Norman, FNCU Editor
Step one: Forget everything you were told about online privacy. Step two: Create a web site named after yourself and tell a potential employer every reason why they should hire you.
In an economy where available positions are becoming scarce, a growing number of job hopefuls are making their own personal web sites to showcase their media-related work online.
“If you don't have your own domain, you're basically saying to someone who could hire you, ‘Hey, go on your own and find information about me,'” said Donya Blaze, senior editor for MediaBistro.com, a journalism-based careers site. “Why not own the information? Google will default to your page before an article about yourself.”
With personal web sites, users can blog about their life experiences, upload videos and photos of their work, and list their most recently published articles. They can also post links to their LinkedIn profile and provide viewers quick access to their resume and references.
“Once they get on the site they should be able to figure out where your work samples are and within a few minutes know more about you,” said Dan Rohn, founder of JournalismJobs.com. According to Blaze, individuals should use the web to exhibit their strongest job skills. But at the same time, she recommends to avoid highlighting too many accomplishments in the risk of negating the importance of others.
And if the assortment of skills that one displays fails to draw interest from employers, they can change them around until they find something that does.
“You have to put yourself in shoes of the person who is trying to find you,” Blaze said.
Caitlin Sweeny, an executive assistant of marketing and consumer products at Scholastic Media, created CaitlinSweeny.com to highlight her publishing skills to employers.
“I have a job that I love now in the industry I was aiming for, and I think the web site helped me achieve that by showing potential employers that I was serious about publishing and that I really did have the computer skills I was listing in my resume,” she said.
“The web site was conceived to be an online portfolio of my work during school and also represent my goals outside of school,” he said.
He used the domain as a space to write original stories on pop culture and provided links to past articles he wrote.
“Having the site, specifically the original features that weren't published anywhere else, helped me by showing potential employers that I have the contacts and can get out and create these ideas on my own,” Harnick said. “The site helped position me as a pop culture writer with a solid knowledge of the industry.”
According to Rohn, the idea of a personal web domain has been around for a decade, and started mainly with graphic designers and artists who wanted to showcase their portfolios online.
But with the recent popularity of places like Facebook and LinkedIn, other media professionals began sharing their work experiences on the internet before moving into the personal web site route.
“The old-fashioned way of sending things [to employers] through the mail or overnight may take too long,” Rohn said.
Those looking to create their own personal web pages can look to businesses like GoDaddy.com, who offer dotcom domains for $10.69 per year, or free alternatives like Blogger.com and Wordpress.com.